Posts Tagged ‘Debut Author’


I’m here today with an interview with debut author Corey M.P. If her cover doesn’t stop you in your tracks, her blurb will:

Sonja Fines is a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal. Shocked by her sudden escape, she meets laid-back Chad Miller. They spend the next three days together, and quickly fall for each other. Sonja has never been happier. But when Chad suddenly reveals something from his past, Sonja flees in a hurry—and her life turns upside down. Overwhelmed with emotions, she embarks on a roller coaster of spontaneous decisions that change her life dramatically.

I’ve already read the first chapter and it is a very well written book with a great promise of escape. I can’t wait to release my next book so that I can really dive in. Corey was so kind to answer a few questions and please follow her on her blog tour if you want to learn more.

1. What is HIGH? As the author, what do you say it is about?

HIGH is a contemporary novel. It’s about Sonja Fines, a thirty-year-old, uptight, sleep deprived, workaholic from Manhattan who hasn’t taken a day off in years. On a Friday before a Fourth of July weekend, she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation, but ends up in a coffee shop…in Montreal.

2) How did the idea for this story come about?

It happened years ago. I was a fulltime graphic designer at the time, and I was in the middle of yet another hectic week of no breaks and long hours. One day, I managed to step outside for a quick coffee break. It was then I realized I was burnt out, and at that moment, I had the urge to escape. But I didn’t. Instead, I was inspired by that feeling to write HIGH.

3) Writing music? What is coming through your speakers when you’re writing?

It always varies. It depends on my mood.

4) If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?

High by James Blunt. It’s actually in the book. ☺

5) For you, what is the most problematic portion of writing a novel? Plot lines? Character depth?

Editing is what I find the most challenging. Just when you think you’re done writing—you end up finding a sentence, or a paragraph that needs rewriting. It’s a long, grueling process, but a truly rewarding one.

6) When writing, are you ever stumped? How do you get over it?

Luckily, I haven’t had that problem yet.

7) Do you have a character that is most like you? If so, why and how?

Hmmm, this is a good question. I think a lot of writers have a little bit of them in their characters. I’d have to say the character that is most like me would be my protagonist, Sonja Fines. For starters, I based the story of HIGH on a feeling I had during one stressful day. It was the feeling of wanting to flee and escape the norm, which is a feeling she shares with me in the story. But that’s about the only thing her and I have in common, because unlike me, Sonja does flee.

8) Are there any characters that were difficult to write? If so, why?

Fortunately, I had no difficulty writing my characters. They just all came alive as soon as I started writing.

9) What are you working on now? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

I’m editing my second novel, Hearts and Errors. It’s scheduled to release this June. You can also expect more novels from me in the near future. Also, I recently created Sammy’s Books, which is a collection of beginner books for children under the age of five.

10) Do you have a support system when it comes to writing? What was the reaction from those close to you about your novels?

Thankfully, I do have a support system when it comes to my writing. My dearest older sister and my mom have been so supportive. They read HIGH when it was only a few chapters long, and they encouraged me to finish it because they always believed it was a good story. After I completed the book, they read it immediately and gave me their feedback. They said it was a great story and that I should publish it…so I did. Aside from them, my husband and my dad have also been extremely supportive. And now that my book is out there, I am receiving wonderful feedback from family and friends. It makes it all worth it.

11) You’re about to write. Do you have a ritual?

No real ritual. As long as the ideas are flowing and I have either my computer, or a notebook and pen, then I’m good to go.

12) What are you currently reading?

I haven’t had a chance to read anything lately. But I do have a number of newly purchased books that are waiting for me. Hopefully I can get to them after my HIGH Blog Tour.

13) Do you plan on writing a sequel to High?

It has crossed my mind, but I’m not sure yet if I will or not. Let’s see what the readers say. If they want more of Sonja and Chad—I have no problem giving them more.

14) What do you want fans to know about High?

HIGH is about facing your fears, embracing new things, meeting new people, really tasting the coffee, forgetting the past, exploring life, and learning how to live and love all over again.

Click here to get your copy of HIGH or visit coreymp.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much, Lauren, for this wonderful interview.

Thank you, Corey! And best of luck on the rest of your tour!


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Party Confetti

Happy Friday everyone! And this is an even happier Friday for Saraflower, the winner of a $20 Amazon gift card! This will come in handy before the giving season. The random generator has spoken, but if you didn’t win you might take your chances in another giveaway over at Shannon Whitney Messenger’s blog. It’s a terrific prize of “The Book Babe’s” critique/consult/or event attendance. Totally awesome and worthwhile, check it out. Thanks everyone, for helping me get the word out about my launch. I love you guys!

Sara, email me your address and I’ll ship off your prize 🙂

EDIT: Sorry everyone, I misread the contest. She’s giving away five 25-page critiques from “The Book Babe”. Five! Still awesome, check it out.

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From one of my FAVORITE movies ever (Dumb and Dumber):

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?

Mary: Well, that’s pretty difficult to say.

Lloyd: Hit me with it! I’ve come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean not good like 1 out of a 100?

Marry: I’d say more like 1 out of a million.

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEEah!

So this pretty much sums up how I feel about self-publishing. In the vast sea of  books, my book is like throwing a pebble into that sea. I should be worried about how I’ll get my book seen among so many, yet, I feel just like Lloyd right now.


Why? Because I’m optimistic.

  • I’ve reached all my pre-launch goals.
  • I had a great launch day where I made some sales that weren’t actually friends or family (love you whoever you are!).
  • My early reviewers left fantastic reviews (thank you all so much!).
  • My crit partner, Bethany Yeager, wrote this truly amazing blog review (you have my undying gratitude).
  • I sent out like fifty ebooks to reviewers and already ten have promised me reviews within a few months.
  • Plus, I’ve got some promotional tools up my sleeve that I’ll use in the next few months.

So, I’m trying to think of sales like a swine flu…you infect one person who goes spreading it around to others and you have an outbreak. I’m happy to take this one reader at a time. I’m going to continue with Lloyd’s optimism for now, because I think it’s much better than looking back and saying,

“I could’ve been a contender.”

(PS remember to join the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway if you haven’t already!)

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For less than a latte, you can support a poor, fantasy-prone writer’s delusion.

Seriously though, I’m proud to say that I’ve reached all my goals thus far. I did everything I said I would, (besides losing all the baby weight), and in fact, launched on the day I chose months ago!


*Crowds cheer*

I’m so happy to say that my debut novel and first of the Infinite Series, Infinite Sacrifice, can now be purchased at Amazon, Smashwords, and B & N. There is also a print version available here.

Maya’s shocked to discover it’s not the heaven she imagined;in fact, a life of adventure begins the moment you die.

Zachariah, her faithful spirit guide, explains the rules of the dead: in order to regain complete awareness and reunite with loved ones all souls must review their previous lives.

Maya plunges warily into her turbulent pasts as a sociopathic High Priest in ancient Egypt; an independent mother protecting a dangerous secret in glorious Sparta; an Irish boy kidnapped and enslaved by Vikings; and a doctor’s wife forced to make an ethical stand in plague-ridden England.

All the while, Maya yearns to be with those she cares about most and worries that she hasn’t learned all of heaven’s most vital lessons. Will she be forced to leave the tranquility of heaven to survive yet another painful and tumultuous
life? Or worse, accept the bitter reality of having to go back alone?

To kick-off off the launch, I wanted to host a little giveaway…

A $20 gift card from Amazon!

$20 can buy you…

…and you might even have enough left to buy a certain someone’s newly released ebook . *wink-wink*

Rules of the giveaway:

1) One point for subscribing to my blog or already being a subscriber (you guys rock!)

2) One point for twittering news of my book launch

3) One point for mentioning my book launch on your blog

4) One point for answering this question in the comments:

If we really do reincarnate, do you have a particular affinity for a time or place? Feel free to list them all.

No purchase is necessary. Please post in the comment section your total points, each point will get your name added into the random generator-thingy, and I’ll announce the winner on my blog next Friday.

Well, good luck to all you launch promoters, and I just wanted to say thank you to all my amazing, supportive blog followers for sticking with me throughout all of this.

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I want to extend an offer for a free ebook review copy to all my awesome and supportive blog followers. You have all been so fantastic along this journey and I wanted to say thanks by giving you all a chance to get my book for free!

The first ten people who privately email me (see sidebar for address) I’ll send a free Smashwords ebook coupon to. If there are those out there that are not familiar with Smashwords (me, before self-publishing) then I will be more than happy to give a little instructional. You don’t need an ereader or kindle either since you can download a copy that you can view on your computer screen.

If you have some free time to read this quickly, and to leave a review on Amazon upon my launch or shortly after, I would be so appreciative. It would be so wonderful to have a few unbiased reviews up around my release date: 11-11-11. *Gulp*

I’m asking everyone who reviews my novel to be completely honest. I know that no book is perfect and I welcome everyone to say what they liked and didn’t like. Sometimes if someone sees all rave reviews they’re suspicious that they’re left by family members, (funny thing is my family members will probably be the most critical on me–remember family of eight-no mercy there). Sometimes negative reviews make readers more interested in the book. So please, feel free to review critically.

If you don’t have the time to read right now or prefer not to leave reviews, I will have other opportunities in the future to get my book and other goodies for free, so keep an eye out.

Thanks everyone!

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Less than a month to go!

This was taken from my count down post back in July. Let’s check my status and see if anything needs to be added:

1) Get the MS back from the editor-make all changes and send it back out for second check

🙂  Check

2) Create LLC and small press publishing name: Rock Castle Publishing

🙂  Check

3) Send blurb out on forums to get feedback

🙂  Check (so helpful)

4) Send cover out to forums to get feedback

🙂  Check

5) Make final changes to book and send out to second copy editor (it’s always good to get two pairs of eyes to catch everything)

🙂  Check

6) Make final changes and read through to make sure it’s perfect (last chance!)

🙂  Check

7) Sign up and register for copyright

  😦  Still need to do this. Appears I have to have a publish date to do this.

8)  Buy 10 ISBNs (I’ll probably get 10 since I have a series and many more books planned)

🙂  Check

9) Work with my graphics designer to make the POD cover with author photo and book description

🙂  Check (I scrapped the author photo & bio–I didn’t like how it looked)

10) Send out to book formatter for B&N, Smashwords, and POD (Create space) formatting

🙂  Check (shows how much I knew about this- it’s termed epub, mobi, smashword, and pdf files)

11) Send out to book reviewers to review around launch date

  😦  Ah! I still need to do this and it scares me :0

12) Get quotes from positive reviewers to put on the back of the book & website

  😦  Still need to do this (hopefully there will be one or two positive reviews or at least snippets taken from negative reviews I can salvage)

13) One month before release send out trailer on all writer’s forums

🙂  I actually decided not to do this. I’ve realized it’ll be best to post up the trailer and description when I can point people to where they can buy it. I’ve heard people comment how annoying it is to read a promo to realize there’s no live link to purchase.

14) Ask close bloggers to review my book on their blogs or send out the word of the release

  😦  Still need to do this–*wink* at my blogger friends reading this.

15) Look up all relevant blogs and ask to guest post

  😦  Still need to do this

16) Put up the book for pre-order on Amazon.com

  😦  I need to check if this is even an option

17) When it’s released send out notification on forums, blogs, and websites

  😦  Still need to do this

18) Get second book out in a few months!

  😦  Still need to do this, but I’m getting it back from my editor any day now 🙂


  😦  Get a Tax ID number

  😦  Open a bank account in my publishing company’s name

  😦  Upload and publish on Smashwords

  😦  Read through and approve second proof & finalize the Create Space account

  😦  Finalize the Historical Info and post on my blog

  🙂  Offer ten people a free ebook copy a couple of weeks prior on my blog in hopes of leaving reviews (positive or negative)

  🙂  Launch book on 11-11-11 with a fun giveaway

I better get busy!

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Front Cover (eek!)

Back Cover


First Page

Chapter 1

Random Page

I can’t believe it. This day has come. I saw the small book-sized package on my front step and I couldn’t remember what book I’d ordered. Upon opening it I could hardly breathe…

my proof had arrived!

It was such a strange surreal moment. As if something you had only imagined had materialized right before your eyes by some white magic. As if you wanted something so badly that it wished its way into the world.

Now, that’s not obviously what happened since I have been toiling away trying to bring this book to life –revising, beta-ing, work-shopping, editing, copyediting, formatting, and uploading, but it suddenly felt like it just appeared out of no-where on my front step.

I’d heard on other self-published writer’s blogs that you shouldn’t expect a bookstore quality version in print, that they have bleeds, pages askew, smudges, shiny thin covers and poorer quality paper, but I was incredibly impressed.

The 5.5″ x 8.5″ size feels wonderful with its hearty 280 pages. Yes, the cover’s shiny, but I thought it looks like many of the shiny covered Grisham/Patterson novels in my bookshelf. The cream paper is a perfect thickness and all of the print was smudge-less and straight. My mother was with me when I opened it and both of our jaws dropped with how professional it looked and felt. It was only when my husband saw it that he pointed out one flaw — the cut was slightly narrower at the top than at the bottom. Of course, now it’s all I can see, but if that’s the only thing that’s not perfect than I can live with that since it doesn’t interfere with reading. I don’t think it’s something I can tell Create Space to correct, but I’m going to get another proof to see if the same thing happens.

All in all, this little bound book made the biggest smile spread across my face. Everything looked fantastic inside, the formatter and cover artist did a terrific job. I passed it proudly around to my large family and they all couldn’t believe how great it looked. Watching them all thumbing through it, inspecting it, and smirking (many of them doubted that I would see this through) was priceless.

I realized that this is a huge milestone. I’ve already achieved something that not many people do. Whatever happens after this won’t take away from the fact that I set out to bring this story to life and I’ve done it –through countless distractions, agent rejections, self-teaching, and self-doubt –I’ve accomplished a life’s goal and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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